WELCOME Panhandle Independent Living Center’s Travel Training Partnership
Transportation Challenges In 2006, Amarillo City Transit projected potential cutbacks in para-transit services due to shrinking FTA dollars. ACT began looking for ways to move Spec-trans passengers into fixed- route vehicles – a training program to promote expanded use of accessible buses.
Regional Support Identified by the Panhandle Regional Organization to Maximize Public Transportation (PROMPT) One of seven priorities included in response to legislative mandates to develop regional transportation coordination plans.
Project Motivation Transportation is vital to the independence of people with disabilities – especially those who work or have employment goals. The prospect of losing even some para-transit service caused a mild panic. Municipal carriers must maintain ADA requirements to provide comparable para- transit services along with fixed-route; this includes “flex- route” programs which also need passenger training assistance.
An opportunity to improve mobility for youth in metropolitan areas and, for students in rural areas… to acquaint them with transit options should they be able to attend college or find employment in Amarillo. Other Great Reasons…
Rural transportation is a common barrier, best illustrated in the Center’s summer youth program that spans a ten-week period. Students living within the 26-county region are eligible to attend, but face little or no transportation to Amarillo.
Some school districts see the value in funding transportation for kids to attend the summer program. In some cases, Panhandle Transit can provide rides. This translates into future mobility issues relating to rural employment, health care, higher education, etc.
Rural transportation is an on-going concern, but we do see rural and city students learning valuable travel skills they can hopefully apply to future employment and independent living skills. Some our youth are using city transit services to access work sites; we also hope to see young people attending college.
Getting the Ball Rolling Realizing the need to expand public transit awareness, a Travel Training project was endorsed by regional and municipal transportation planners including local TxDot personnel. Travel Training was accepted as part of the Panhandle’s regional transportation coordination plan in 2006. Two partners were already on board: The Amarillo City Transit & PRPC. RFP’s for New Freedom Initiative funds were published by the Texas Department of Transportation
New Freedom Objectives New Freedom Initiative embraces local transportation projects New public transit services beyond those required by the ADA Projects that promote new public transportation alternatives Assists people with disabilities with accessing transit services including transportation to jobs and employment support services. Training programs for individuals on awareness, and skills of using transportation options including travel training services
PILC’s Travel Training Program is currently in their 6 th year with another 2 year grant provided. To date- Over 2000 clients have been served with over 1500 field trainings provided to people with disabilities.